In the 1820s two little known travellers are on their way to what for Europeans is still a legerndary city: Timbuktu. One of them is Major Alexander Gordon Laing, who is leading a caravan from Tripolis across the Sahara; the other is René Caillié, who, without a commission or any support, is trying to travel as a Muslim, alone or with changing companions, from Senegal to the Niger. Not far apart, in 1826 and 1829, they each arrive at their desired destination to soon leave it again: the one, after unbearable hardships, reaches Marocco and later France; the other vanishes forever.
Setting out for the unknown, daring an exploit, thinking in fantasies – in one word, storytelling. In a flood of imagery, in sweeping sentences of great density and suggestivity, Thomas Stangl fabricates a reality around the longing for the unknown at the crossroads between colonialism and private folly – an adventure novel after all adventure novels, one in witch the actual adventure takes place from one sentence to the next.
Rights sold to:
German Paperback (btb)
German Bookclub (Donauland)
»A masterpiece!« (Roger Willemsen)
»A terrific novel« (Tilman Spreckelsen, FAZ)
»A wonderful book!« (Hardy Ruoss, Literaturclub)
»A sensationel debut« (Olga Martynova, Die Zeit)
»Congenial!« (Andreas Langenbacher, NZZ)